October 14, 2008,
L.W. asks from Suncook, NH on October 11, 2008
1 Year Old Giving up the Bottle
My son recently turned one and from what I have been told it is time to give up the bottle and formula. I am nervous about the transition because he loves his bottle. He only gets one at nap time and bedtime so about 2 a day depending on how many naps he takes (if I am lucky he takes two). How did you Mom's get your children to go to sleep without the bottle? Right now it is so------ easy. Do I switch to milk and then put it in a sippy cup and then remove the cup? Do I have to slowly add milk to the formula until he accepts the taste of milk? I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. I have been putting it off because I think it will be a battle. I am a stay at home Mom that enjoys the peaceful nap times and don't want to end up with us both in tears. Thanks for any help you might be able to give!
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for your responses, they were all very helpful. I used a little advice from everyone. Over the coarse of a few days I added milk to his formula until it was all milk. He had no problem with it at all. I went out and got the nubby cups and that did not go over quite as well. But maybe that's the point? He will only drink a couple of ounces of it, (with a bottle he drank 6). He will fuss for a bit and finally settle in to his nap. I have to admit at night I have still let him have his bottle. I am trying to be good about only letting him have the cup during the day, although sometimes it results in no nap. I am keeping the nubby cups only for sleeping times and using regular sippy cups during the day. So hopefully he will see the nubby cup as "special". Once I get him off the bottle completely, which I do not want to rush, he will get water in his nubby for bed time.
Again, I so appreciated the answers, I find myself returning to your comments when I get frustrated and read them again for more ideas to make this easy for him.
L.L. answers from Portland on October 13, 2008
I see you already have a lot of answers , I am sure there are some excellent suggestions in amongst them.
I have not read them mainly because I am an opinionated old lady. Mother of seven, grandmother of 14 and great grammie of one.
I could spit nails every time I see someone say take the bottle away before two years.
TWO is the weaning year....has been for fifteen thousand years.
Out of the seven of my children, I had one who came home from kindergarten for his bottle of orange juice..and there was another little boy in his class who still had his bottle of milk after school. This is one extreme. Mine was done with it by Christmas on his own violition. His classmate gave it up the next summer at six. Never saw a ten year old suck a bottle either. I had a little girl who stopped breast and bottle before she was two. Again , on her own.
The rest stopped nursing when they were ready to give up the comfort of sucking at various ages, most between two and three years of age.
An infant derives much comfort and nurture from nursing, wether it is a bottle or breast. I breast fed all of mine , at age of one to fifteen months they accepted a bottle. I held them at first then that little streak of independence appeared and off they ran with their bottles.
Dont recall any problems with switching to bottles (or not), or for them to stop nursing altogether when they were ready.
Personally I think it creates anxiety and despair to take away the nursing thing too early. Remember, it is NOT just the breast milk, or whatever you choose to put into a bottle.
It is the sucking, the nursing, the closeness to Mother that is important here. A sense of security to them.
This can be a big scarey world to a very small child. Or a small one with Mum and Dad which is safe and fulfilling.
I believe many parents today are pushing babies into childhood, and children into pubescence , and teens into adulthood way before they are psychologically ready for these transitions.
And I think it makes for an unsettled baby to take away the props that give them a sense of security which is the basis for them challenging new experiences.
It is a good thing to finish one thing in its proper order before moving on to the next stage.
Let the babies be babies until they are prepared to be children and that happens around two years old. Some bit earlier, some a bit later. But tincture of time here.
What does it harm if your baby wants her naptime/ bedtime bottle? It is not that much work to pour milk or whatever into a bottle is it? Or not that much work to wash out a bottle.
WAY too many books that are most misguiding today I think.
Dr. Spock ruined an entire generation and did a pretty good job on the following one as well.
You will do as your heart leads you and as you think best...this is as it should be.
But you have asked for opinions and advice and this is mine.
Give the baby her bottle until she does not need the comfort she derives from it any longer.
PS Did mean to mention that if one of my children took a bottle to bed, some did, some did not...not one of them suffered any teeth problems because of it. NOT ONE. They are now, of course adults, all but one have their own teeth in excellent condition. The one had serious side effects from meds she was on that damaged her teeth beyond repair, in her forties.
L.C. answers from Boston on October 13, 2008
Well I've been told I've been lucky but I did this with all 3 of my kids very successfully. When they turned one I switched over to milk in a sippy cup. This way they never associated milk with the bottle, formula comes in bottles for babies and big kids get milk from a cup. I will say it worked for all of my three. Good Luck.
L.S. answers from Hartford on October 13, 2008
Here is what i have been doing with my two: I see no reason to take away the bottle at bedtime and naptime at this point (my oldest is three, her sister is 20 mo and the new baby will be born in a month). I am as sick as a dog with being pregnant and I don't want to create any undue jellousy with the new baby and her bottle.
SOOOOOO what i have been doing for a good long while now is give them both a bottle that is almost all water with a tad of milk -- just enough to turn it white. Neither child notices that it's not all milk and this way the kids get the bottle that they crave but not the sugars that can hurt their teeth. Once the new baby is born and is several months old i will transition the mixture to a sippy cup and then slowly decrease the amount of liquid in the sippy cup.
J.M. answers from Boston on October 13, 2008
I think you've gotten a lot of good advice about how to go about dropping the bottle. I just wanted to add that there's no reason that he _has_ to give it up at one. I would recommend dropping it for nap so he can get used to sleeping without it, but our pediatrician said that there was no problem with our daughter getting a before bed bottle all the way until she was 5! She didn't fall asleep with it and she didn't take it to bed with her, but we all liked that extra snuggle time. Around one we switched her over to soy milk (she was sick all the time and so dairy was tough) and let her have that in a bottle before bed. When she was about 2, she said "no buba" one night, and we seized the opportunity and she hasn't had one since. So I guess I'm just saying that if you still like him having the bottle and you enjoy that time together there's no reason that he can't have it. But, if you already feel like he's too dependent or you're ready to be done with bottles, do it now, because fighting with them does often become worse as they get older.
L.H. answers from Boston on October 13, 2008
The Munchkin sippy cups are the BEST!! They are just like the Nuby ones that I used to love for my 3 year old, who I easily transitioned at 1, but since Nuby redid their spout they are very difficult to suck from. As a mom whose kids are prone to ear infections (and as a Mom who thinks the cup should be *easier* to drink from, not harder, than the bottle!), this new Munchkin cup is the best. It is BPA free, leak proof, has a soft rubbery spout that mimics the bottle, but when the child sucks it comes out a little faster than a bottle. I actually transitioned my now 11 month old at 9 months and after a few tries he *refused* the bottle and would only drink from the cup! Woo hoo!
I understand what you mean about nap and night time ~ I feed my son a sippy cup's worth of milk in the dark before bed, which makes him nice and drowsy, then after some cuddling/burping he easily goes down. Eventually we'll both be stopping this (much later) but for now it's not only great bonding time, it's a free pass to our own nap or me time! Try the cup ~ I attached the link to Target, where I bought mine, so you'd know what it looks like. You might want to buy one of those and then a Nuby with the similar spout ~ your son will decide which one he likes :)
Good luck and don't be scared ~ we've all been there! It will go much easier than you think because of all the transitional sippies out there. Thank goodness for moms who work in sippy cup creation centers! And don't worry about his dependence on the sippy; I have a 3.5 year old who thinks they are for babies and prides herself on drinking out of a cup :)
J.L. answers from Boston on October 14, 2008
We have two boys and when they each turned one, we changed them over from formula in a bottle to milk in a cup over a 3 day period. We felt that they would learn that milk comes in a cup and not in a bottle, so we never, not one time put the milk in a bottle. We also never used the bottle to help with naps or bedtime, except when they were infants. If you start to present milk in a sippy cup for meals and snack it might be easier. You want him to have a positive aassociation, and you can show him that you both drink milk, or whatever you drink from a cup at dinner, and not when you go to bed. I think in the long run the harder habit to break is the bottle before sleeping, not whethor it has formula or milk in it. You have this easy opportunity though to make a clean break of it and just start to offer milk in the cup. You might want to mix some milk and formula together for 2-3 days to get him used to the taste of it, but then THROW AWAY THE BOTTLES!!! Seriously - throw them away so you won't be tempted to go back to them. You will likely have a hairy couple of days, but you can get through it if you stick to your guns. If you waiver you will teach him that you don't mean what you say and then you'll have other issues down the road. Good luck - you can do this, it is really not a big deal, I promise. If you have a Babies-r-us near you check out their trainer cups and try to find one that has a spout on it that you thnk he might like. With our first son, he took to the new cup right away, but 3 years later when we weaned our 2nd son, we went through 5-6 different types before we found one that worked for him.
Again, good luck!
T.P. answers from Hartford on October 13, 2008
L.-Now keep in mind I have an almost two year old that still has one bottle of milk each morning so that she can have certain medicine mixed in....but she also drinks out of a cup and sippies...I have to say I savor her laying in my lap having this bottle still each morning.
They make sippy cups that have very soft nipple like tops for easy transitions so when you switch to milk you can use these sippys at first.
But worse case....what truly is the difference between one to two bottles a day for a one year old and the mom that still breast feeds? Or the mom that pumps and gives her child breast milk in a bottle while she is away. DO not put too much pressure on yourself with this issue. Especially since you use the nap time to work and your little one needs the nap to grow and sleep. :) I can assure you he will not show up at preschool with a bottle in his snack bag.
J.S. answers from Boston on October 13, 2008
Hi there! You've gotten advice all over the spectrum so I'll chime in with my two cents. I don't think you have to be worried about any battles, at least not based on my experience. My daughter is 14 months old and still has a bottle before her nap (sometimes 1 nap, sometimes 2 these days) and one before bed. Our pediatrician said it was totally fine to give the bottles - just don't put them IN THE CRIB with the bottles to fall asleep - that's what leads to tooth problems. Giving a bottle before putting them in crib is fine, according to my pediatrician. When she turned 1 year, we started mixing whole milk with the breastmilk and she didn't seem to have any problem. We've loved the Nuby cups - she has two different colors - one for milk with meals and one for water which is available to her at all times. Seems to work for us. I still pump and she gets about 5 oz breastmilk a day but she won't nurse, most recently she stopped even in teh morning. Also, I never gave her breastmilk in te sippy cup - i figured she could associate the sippy with cows milk then.
Hope that helps, sounds like you are doing everything just right!